Crisis in Naivasha as Port Operations Shift to Coast. Businesses affected in Nyandarua County
President William Ruto returned the port operations of Nairobi and the Naivasha Inland Container Depot (ICDS) to Mombasa. This reverses one of the Jubilee Government’s controversial policies.
To ensure that the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has the minimum business security to be able to repay the Sh450 billion loan incurred to build it, the government of Uhuru Kenyatta has forced companies to use modern railways, government-approved groups to deploy. . The usage license is free to copy. .
In his oath on Tuesday, Dr. Mr. Ruto said this measure aims to restore thousands of lost jobs in Mombasa.
“Tonight I will give orders to remove all goods and other supplies. This is so that the team can return to the Port of Mombasa. This will bring thousands of jobs to the city of Mombasa,” said Ruto.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta launched SGR transport services from Mombasa to Naivasha ICD in 2019. He promised that the goods will be delivered to western Kenya and neighboring countries.
He also introduced several policies to protect the SGR. This hurt seafarer who lost thousands of jobs off the coast of Kenya.
This order may also affect companies incorporated after the Naivasha order.
Naivasha ICD has been at the heart of Kenya’s ambitions to become a good transport hub for neighboring countries like Tanzania and Uganda.
The government also introduced an improved ICD in Nairobi in the same year. This was to promote mass transport from the port of Mombasa to the country.
The ICD in Nairobi was built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC),. It aimed to reduce traffic congestion in the Port of Mombasa and reduce freight costs.
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However, there is not enough space for cargo owners. Those who want to transport their goods to Nairobi or Naivasha via SGR to proceed.
Carriers opposed the plan saying the government’s decision will increase the cost of doing business. This also passes those costs on to consumers.
The government was also criticized for making this decision without consulting those involved in the matter. More so, for correcting mistakes around the port and the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi.
So far, the Court of Appeal has not ruled on the request for this decision. It seeks to overturn the order to transport all goods to Nairobi and outside areas only through the SGR.
The Supreme Court suspended the execution of the decision rendered by the five judges of the Supreme Court. It awaits the hearing and decision of the petition presented by the Port Authority (KPA).
KPA said these orders are to implement a stand-and-pay system. This is important so that the loan for the construction of the modern railroad is paid.
KPA promised to transfer a certain amount of cargo and freight to Kenya Railways.
What does Naivasha Depot want to do when services change?
The move from Naivasha to the Port of Mombasa means billions of dollars in imminent revenue.
An industrial park is involved in Mai Mahiu, in which many investors have shown interest.
Thousands of businessmen have also shown interest in the Inland Container Depot (ICD). They have invested in the area near the Mai Mahiu-Narok road to see various activities in the dry port.
The inner port is located in an area of more than 1,000 hectares. It is expected to handle 2 million tons of cargo per year. Most remittances came from Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The port is intended to reduce congestion in the ports of Nairobi ICD and Mombasa.
On Tuesday, at the inauguration of President William Ruto, he ordered that services be moved to Mombasa. Naivasha residents were not happy as their counterparts in the coastal city delighted.
During the campaign, Ruto promised to deliver services to Mombasa within 100 days, noting that CDI Mai Mahiu was in a private facility.
Mrs. Jane Kihara, Member of Parliament for Naivasha, supported the issue, saying that the issue of port services and the industrial area are separate and must be resolved separately.
He criticized the previous government, saying that regional leaders were not involved in the work on the port, which continues to attract more heat than light.
“The president knew that there would be an industrial park in Mai Mahiu that would bring more jobs, and the decision to move the cleaning and distribution operations to Mombasa came at the right time,” he said.
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Judyleah Waihenya, the current land chief in Nakuru, said the president’s plan will impact industrial construction in the area.
They say the district has already received 50 hectares of land from the state government near the ICD, where there is a multi-billion dollar Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project.
“Our decision was to see the works close to the ICD, including the construction of hotels, banks and electricity, but that idea must change now”, he said.
Mr. Waihenya said that more than 80 businessmen have shown interest in economic matters, saying that this idea must be changed as the new government is more concerned with the park and not with the ICD.
The head of the Naivasha Professionals Association, Mr. Absolom Mukhusi says this decision will affect thousands upon thousands of investors interested in industries.
He said the organization and businessmen plan to hold a meeting with Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika next week to discuss their grievances.
“We will send a request to the governor to send it to the president because we believe the decision to move cleaning services to Mombasa will affect Ms. Mahius’ business,” he said.
Mr. Mukhusi went on to say that billions of taxpayers’ money has been invested in the area and he is surprised the buildings are there.
“The government spent billions of dollars to build the ICD. This improves foot by foot the railroad that goes to Malaba for the transport of goods, but it is now lost,” he said.
This was supported by youth leader Charles Mburu, who has seen billions of money invested in buildings near Mahiu lost.